Never Give Up Cultural Identity

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In the short story “Borders” by Thomas King, a mother who resides in a native community refuses to declare herself as American or Canadian at a border crossing and has some conflicts between herself and the border guards. The mother has pride in her culture and values where she comes from. She never gives up her cultural identity of a Blackfoot. Firstly, as the main character of this story, the mother always keeps pride in her cultural identity through what she says and what she does, and we can also see this through others’ reaction to her. “‘We got a water tower on the reserve,’ my mother said. ‘ There’s a big one in Lethbridge, too.’” (King 15) “’You can still see the mountain from here,’ my mother told Laetitia in Blackfoot.” (King 16) Her words display her pride in her own culture; she wants her daughter to remember her own culture. “’This is real lousy coffee.’”(King 16) “’You [Laetitia]’re going to have to buy your water in bottles if you want good coffee.’”(King 16) “’That Salt Lake City place sounds too good to be true,’ my mother told her [Laetitia].”(King 18) She thinks everything in her culture is better than other cultures. When she is asked about her citizenship, she persistently replies with the same answer “Blackfoot” (King 16, 17, 19); her answer shows her persistence about her cultural identity, and she strongly believes that she is neither Canadian nor American. “So I was surprised when she [mother] bought two new tires for the car and put on her dress with the green and yellow flowers. I had to dress up, too, for my mother did not want us crossing the border looking like Americans.”(King 16) From what she does, we can still see that she wants to imply her cultural identity to other people and she believes she is a Blackfoot forever; she does not want to be identified as American or Canadian. “It would have been easier if my mother had just said ‘Canadian’ and had been done with it, but I could see she wasn’t going to do that.” (King 16) “Pride...
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